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Meret Oppenheim

Swiss, German, 1913-1985

Though the fame of the sculptor and painter Meret Oppenheim stems mainly from a single work of art, that one was a doozy. Known as Object, the enduringly disconcerting fur-covered teacup, saucer and spoon that Oppenheim created in 1936 remains the one of the most notorious works to spawn from the Surrealist art movement.

Born in Germany and raised in Basel, Switzerland, Oppenheim was encouraged to pursue art by her maternal grandmother, a writer and illustrator. Oppenheim moved to Paris to attend art school in 1932. There, she met the sculptor (and fellow Swiss native) Alberto Giacometti, who introduced her to Man Ray, Max Ernst and André Breton, the founder of the Surrealist movement. Within a year, Oppenheim was exhibiting her paintings with the Surrealists, the first female artist to do so.

Object, the story goes, was born of a lunchtime chat that Oppenheim had with Pablo Picasso and his muse, artist Dora Maar, one afternoon in 1936. The Spanish-born artist admired an unusual fur-lined bracelet that Oppenheim wore, and she replied that anything could be covered fur, “even this cup and saucer!” Her imagination fired, Oppenheim bought some china and a swatch of Chinese gazelle fur. When it was exhibited in New York, Object was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art — the first work of art by a woman acquired by the institution.

Another Oppenheim piece has become an icon of the art-as-design genre, a category that has currency among art collectors: the Traccia table, a side table with a gold- or silver-leafed wooden top, incised with the shapes of two bird-claw impressions, and a cast-bronze base in the form of stork legs. The Traccia — from the Italian for “track,” as in animal track — was created for the 1939 opening of art dealer Leo Castelli’s first gallery, on the Place Vendôme in Paris. The maker Simon International began producing versions of the Traccia in 1970, and the piece is now made by Cassina. Examples are typically priced between $6,300 and $8,500, depending on condition. As striking and amusing today as when it first appeared, the Traccia is an always-suave addition to a modern art and design collection and a tribute to the humor and ingenuity of a groundbreaking 20th-century artist.

Find original Meret Oppenheim art and furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,878
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Related Creators
Early Meret Oppenheim Traccia Side Table for Simon Gavina, Italy 1972
By Simon Gavina Editions, Meret Oppenheim
Located in Milan, IT
Meret Oppenheim Traccia side table by Simon Gavina 1972 Designed by Meret Oppenheim in 1939 and produced by Simon Gavina in 1972 Gold leaf wood...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Bronze, Gold Leaf

20th Century Meret Oppenheim Traccia Side Table by Simon Gavina Golden '70s
By Simon Gavina Editions, Meret Oppenheim
Located in Turin, Turin
This table is a surrealist piece of furniture made while International Style was popular. Meret Oppenheim was a German-born Swiss artist and designer best known for her teacup lined ...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Bronze

Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
By Cassina, Meret Oppenheim
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Meret Oppenheim Traccia sculptural table Manufactured by Cassina in Italy In 1971, Dino Gavino launched what he called “l’opera d’arte funzionale”, or functional artworks, in so doing inaugurating a new approach of furnishing where surreal objects were adapted for everyday use. This led to the creation of the Ultramobile collection. These pieces, that went beyond (ultra) furniture (mobile) engaged the imagination, complementing rational intelligence with a sense of wonder, where geometry interacted with fantasy. One of these pieces was the low table that the Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim designed in 1929 for Leo Castelli’s avant-garde gallery, dubbing it the “Bird Leg Table...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Steel

Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
H 25.6 in W 26.78 in D 20.87 in
Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
By Cassina, Meret Oppenheim
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Meret Oppenheim traccia sculptural table. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. In 1971, Dino Gavino launched what he called “...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Steel

Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
H 25.6 in W 26.78 in D 20.87 in
Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table for Cassina, Italy, new
By Meret Oppenheim, Cassina
Located in Berlin, DE
The price given applies to the item as seen in the first picture. Prices vary dependent on the chosen material. Meret Oppenheim Traccia sculptural table...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Bronze

Traccia Table by Meret Oppenheim, 1970s
By Meret Oppenheim
Located in Berlin, Berlin
Side or coffee table 'Traccia' designed by Meret Oppenheim. Italy, Simon International, 1972. ORIGINAL EDITION. The Traccia table was designed by Meret Oppenheim in 1939 and produced by Simon International in Milan in the early 1970s. Wooden top with bird impressions embossed and applied with gold leaf...
Category

1970s Italian Modern Vintage Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Bronze

Traccia Table by Meret Oppenheim, 1970s
Traccia Table by Meret Oppenheim, 1970s
H 25.6 in W 26.78 in D 20.87 in
Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
By Cassina, Meret Oppenheim
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Meret Oppenheim Traccia sculptural table Manufactured by Cassina in Italy In 1971, Dino Gavino launched what he called “l’opera d’arte funzionale”, or functional artworks, in so doing inaugurating a new approach of furnishing where surreal objects were adapted for everyday use. This led to the creation of the Ultramobile Collection. These pieces, that went beyond (ultra) furniture (mobile) engaged the imagination, complementing rational intelligence with a sense of wonder, where geometry interacted with fantasy. One of these pieces was the low table that the Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim designed in 1929 for Leo Castelli’s avant-garde gallery, dubbing it the “Bird Leg...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Steel

Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
Meret Oppenheim Traccia Sculptural Table
H 25.6 in W 26.78 in D 20.87 in
Meret Oppenheim Gueridon Ovale Table
By Meret Oppenheim
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Meret Oppenheim gueridon ovale table in original condition. A true collector's art table. Live with art as furniture in home. Modern art table very rare.
Category

1990s Modern Meret Oppenheim

Materials

Wood

Meret Oppenheim Gueridon Ovale Table
Meret Oppenheim Gueridon Ovale Table
H 25 in W 26.5 in D 20.75 in
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Meret Oppenheim furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Meret Oppenheim furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Meret Oppenheim furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 9 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 5 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Meret Oppenheim were created in the mid-century modern style in italy during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Franco Poli, Casigliani, and Piero De Martini. Prices for Meret Oppenheim furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $3,630 and can go as high as $15,361, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $5,555.

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